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How to book

Use the Booking Request Form to enquire about research visits up to 13 months in advance. Please check your eligibility before submitting a request for a research booking.

After assessment and acceptance of your research proposal, LIRS will prepare a booking schedule for your approval followed by an invoice for a booking deposit. To secure the booking, the deposit must be paid by the due date. The deposit is non-refundable and it is transferable only under certain conditions.

If the deposit is not paid within the time allowed, the booking is at risk until the deposit is received: LIRS may allocate the space to others without notifying you. The clock cannot be reset by making a new booking that overlaps the period of a previous booking.

Booking deposit

The deposit amount is $33 per person per night including GST.

The deposit must be paid for all people for whom a bed has been reserved, excluding any children under 16 years who are free of charge.

The deposit is not refundable. It will be deducted from the final bill in full if the trip proceeds exactly as booked. It will be partially or fully forfeited if the trip does not proceed as booked.

Please read the conditions associated with the deposit carefully.


Payment for bench fees, food, freight, and any other items is due on departure from LIRS, or within 30 days of departure if arrangements have been made beforehand.

Tax invoices will be provided for the booking deposit and for the final payment. Payments can be made by direct deposit, cheque, Mastercard or Visa.

Payments made by direct deposit and by cheque in Australian dollars do not incur any transaction fees.

A fee of up to 2.5% will be charged for invoices paid by credit card.

Checklist for research visits
Check eligibility Before doing anything else
Request a booking at the Research Station Up to 13 months in advance
Pay the booking deposit, after carefully considering the deposit conditions Within 30 days of the invoice date
Book flights Well in advance to ensure that you can meet your LIRS booking
Apply for Marine Parks and Fisheries permits as needed At least 3 months prior to trip for uncontroversial proposals
Apply for ethics approval, if needed Depends on the issuing agency, some meet infrequently
Apply for an export permit, if needed As soon as other permits have been issued, preferably at least a month before the trip
Send bulky equipment and/or dangerous goods (including laboratory chemicals) ahead by barge and advise LIRS about what you have sent Depends on your location; remember that the barge goes only once every two weeks
Send a Diver Registration Form and supporting documents to LIRS for each intending diver who has not previously qualified to dive at LIRS About two months before the trip, even if certain requirements have not yet been met
Book a boat licence course, if necessary At least a month before the trip
Order food According to the barge schedule; check the dates about a month before your trip starts
Email LIRS to advise arrival time so you can be met at the airstrip About a week before the trip
Ensure that team members have all documents as needed to comply with diving regulations and a boat licence, as needed Before departing for trip
Stay within baggage limit and do NOT use Nally bins or other large, hard containers for baggage Before departing for trip

Avoid costly mistakes

The logistics of organising a visit to Lizard Island can be challenging when you haven't done it before. Errors can be expensive as well as annoying. Some advice to avoid them:

  • Apply for permits with plenty of time to spare. Sometimes they are issued with errors or omissions that take time to resolve and it is best that you are still at home to sort this out rather than wasting valuable field time.
  • Ensure that all members of your team send in advance or bring all the necessary documents for diving and that at least one member of the team has an Australian boat licence. Dive medicals must be to AS2299, NOT to AS4005.1 - the wrong medical will mean a trip back to Cairns or no diving.
  • Pre-book aquarium space. If you don't have any space booked, there may not be any available for you.
  • Check that any essential lab equipment will be available - it might be booked by others or off the island for service.
  • If you need to hire a scuba regulator, a BCD, or a wetsuit from LIRS, check that these will be available too. There is no need to check for other items of diving gear.
  • If you need lab chemicals other than ethanol or formalin (which are available at LIRS), you will probably have to order them and they will have to come by barge because they cannot be flown. Some lab chemicals take weeks to get to Cairns, so order well in advance.
  • Book your flights early so that you don't lose part of your deposit by being unable to fly on the dates you want.
  • Do NOT turn up for the flight with more than your baggage allowance and do NOT use large, rigid containers such as Nally bins for flight baggage. Large and heavy stuff must come and go by barge.
  • If you have a question, just ask us!